Ask the Archivist
Can We Handle the Truth?
A. To paraphrase the immortal words of Neil Diamond as sung by Davy Jones, “You’re a little bit wrong, he’s a little bit right.”
Beginning in October 1980 and continuing at least until February of 1982, students at Boalt Hall published a newspaper titled — not Pravda — but its Google Translator equivalent, The Truth.
Volume one, number one of the newspaper explained the choice of name:
“This paper used to be called the ‘Suspended Sentence.’ I always thought that was a bit precious. And then, of course, those two words became synonymous with terms like ‘head lice’ or ‘discharge’. Besides it’s bad luck to take the name of a dead relative.
Some law school papers have names like ‘The Writ’ or ‘The Appeal’. Others have tags like ‘The Commentator” or “The Observer’ conjuring images of Marcus Aurelius pontificating on dialysis machines.
So, after three weeks of kvetch, this paper has ended up being called ‘The Truth’.
Yeah, I’ve been reminded ‘The Truth’ is English for Pravda, but I don’t feel responsible for another people’s molestation of the word. And, natch, it sounds like it ought to be printed in red ink on yellow paper, hawked on the corner, wild-eyed and spitting.”
In the Law School Archives we have copies of three issues of vol. 1, three issues of vol. 3, and one issue of vol. 4. We would love to be able to assemble an entire run if anyone has copies they want to pass along.
BTW, don’t underestimate Dean Kadish. He has a fine appreciation of law student irony.
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